Messily put together with less interesting characters and plot.
Led by Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and new addition Lula (Lizzy Caplan), return to the stage a year after their disappearance. This time however, things go wrong, and they are contacted by Walter (Daniel Radcliffe) who enlists their skills for a job. The Horsemen need special resources to complete the job, and find them with the help of Li (Jay Chou) and his grandmother, Bu Bu (Tsai Chin). Also in this is Michael Caine as Arthur Tressler, and Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley.
While the previous film was full of intrigue, mystery, and revelations, this film is a pale comparison to it’s prequel. With considerably less action and more talk, the first half of the film manages to bore the audience. As well, this film gives off the feeling of trying too hard to be like the first one that it just falls short.
The acting is fine enough for the Horsemen, as they all reprise their roles. I did like Isla Fisher and her character, but unfortunately she got replaced by Lizzy Caplan, who isn’t so bad either. I had a problem with Radcliffe’s character. He was too weird, and his background was not very comprehensive. I also found out how short he actually is in this film. In addition, the film introduces Merritt’s twin brother, Chase, played by Woody Harrelson. That was another no-no. Though the editing was done well enough between the two characters, the hair on ‘Chase’ was very obviously a wig which was unnerving. Needless to say, I found that the new characters were not a great addition.
As for the narrative, it kind of continues the story from the first film, but not in as much detail. As well, there are more elements involved in this film that detracts attention away from the main plot. This is what made it messy; with too many things going on the audience doesn’t know which to focus on. And with no focus, the narrative just becomes jumbled up.
The effects are cool as usual. I especially liked the scene where they’re tossing a card to each other. Visuals and coordination are nicely done there, and managed to engage the audience.
The ending felt a little too deja vu from the first one. As mentioned, it tries too hard to be like its predecessor that it just destroys itself. I’m not saying the film is not enjoyable, but while it isn’t totally horrible, there is too much dialogue and not enough action. I’d liked to have seen more tricks, and less new characters who hardly had any foundation.
PROS: Acting, visuals
CONS: New characters, plot
I give this a 6/10.
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